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European Space Agency's webpage about the Mars Express / Beagle 2 project.

Mars ho! In about 24 hours, the Beagle 2 lander will descend to the surface of Mars, courtesy of the European Space Agency. After a few mighty bounces, encased in a giant rubber ball, the lander will open up and allow its instrument payload to start sampling the surface. This is the first in a trifecta of landers destined for Mars during the next month. NASA's landers, Spirit and Opportunity, land on January 3rd and January 24th.
posted by warhol on Dec 23, 2003 - 25 comments

Moose?

Robert "Moose" Cobb's new job --Under fire for its handling of postwar contracts in Iraq, the Bush administration plans to appoint NASA's inspector general to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad to oversee investigations of any alleged abuses. Cobb was Associate Presidential Counsel for Bush and before that spent nine years as a career attorney with the Office of Government Ethics. His appointment was seen as a bid by the administration to counter criticism -- mostly from Democrats in Congress -- that oversight of multibillion-dollar contracts has been lax. So can a guy who worked in the Bush White House actually be trusted to objectively investigate abuses? And if the Pentagon is auditing all of this, why use this guy? (and can the Pentagon objectively investigate this stuff either?)
posted by amberglow on Dec 15, 2003 - 16 comments

planetary photojournal

planetary photojournal
posted by crunchland on Nov 18, 2003 - 1 comment

Voyager at 90 AU

Far, far away. Today, Voyager 1 will reach 90 AU from the sun, around which distance it is expected to cross the "termination shock," finally crossing into the fuzzy boundary between the heliosphere and true interstellar space. (Yes, it's taken that long to get there.) Some even think that the termination shock has already been reached, but then re-expanded past the spacecraft. Tears need not be shed yet for these distant explorers: both Voyagers have juice till about 2020, and the mission remains very much alive. (No word, however, on a possible return to the Creator.)
posted by brownpau on Nov 5, 2003 - 25 comments

Intense Solar Flare

The largest solar flare of the current solar cycle shot off the sun earlier today. After the media latched on to what was predicted to be mostly a non-event last week (probably due to a NASA article released around the same time about a super spacestorm) , it's not making as much news this time. But you should pay attention this time. This could be the best and last chance for a lot of us farther south to see some auroras before the sun dives into solar minimum, assuming all the variables line up correctly this time. I recommend watching the Solar Terrestrial Dispatch, as it is a great all around resource for solar activity and auroras that includes live data and sightings reports by the general public. Unfortunately though, no doubt as word IS spreading, that site is being hammered again and may be quite slow.
posted by yupislyr on Oct 28, 2003 - 21 comments

Galileo Dies.

NASA's Official 'Galileo Dies' Page. Galileo is set to crash into Jupiter on Sunday. Responsible for many great images and tons of information, Galileo served well. Find a complete history of the Galileo mission here. Also, don't forget to watch the End of Mission webcast this Sunday at approx. 2 PM EST here.
posted by Ufez Jones on Sep 16, 2003 - 7 comments

Global cooking an egg on the sidewalk Warming

While there may be controversy over global warming, whichever side of the fence you stand on, you can't help but enjoy the colorful spectacle that is temperature variation from 1970-1999, presented as a MPEG from NASA (4.5 Mb). Yellow-to-red means higher temps and the last few years are a doozy. [via the Viridians]
posted by mathowie on Sep 5, 2003 - 24 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Asteroid orbits Enter the designation or name of any asteroid or comet, and a 3D orbit visualization tool will appear for that object. If Chicken Little had this link he might have calmed down a little. Or not...Find out if your favorite asteroid is about to rock your world.
posted by konolia on Sep 2, 2003 - 5 comments

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board

"These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday. Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational and behavioral issues that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
posted by tgrundke on Aug 28, 2003 - 11 comments

http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/TPF/tpf_what_is.html

NASA thinks we can find another Earth in another nearby star. When we do, how can we possibly travel light-years to get there? It might not be as hard as you'd think . . .
posted by stbalbach on Aug 17, 2003 - 31 comments

Big Blue Marble

The Blue Marble... true color global imagery at 1km resolution.
posted by crunchland on Jul 19, 2003 - 14 comments

NASA catches molester, can't find holes in shuttle

NASA laboratory enhancement of the surveillance tape used to nab suspect in West Virginia Target sexual assault. It's nice to know NASA can use image enhancement technology to catch child molesters, but can't use it to find holes in space shuttles.
posted by dayvin on Jul 16, 2003 - 12 comments

Lego Astrobots Blog From Mars Rovers

Lego Astrobots Blog From Mars Rovers - The Planetary Society has teamed with NASA to "man" it's two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft with Lego "Astrobots." The bots, Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust, are blogging their adventure "to allow kids to vicariously experience life in space, from launch, through the six-month space cruise, to landing and roving on the Martian surface."
posted by tpl1212 on Jun 13, 2003 - 4 comments

Video from Mars rocket launch

Video of Nasa's Delta II rocket launch (RealVideo) The camera was mounted on the rocket facing down towards earth and the resulting footage is amazing. There's a Windows Media version at MSNBC.
posted by stevengarrity on Jun 11, 2003 - 21 comments

If our allies don't like ... thy better learn to like it pronto!

Pentagon: space is for Americans only
At the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in early April, (NRO director Peter) Teets proposed that U.S. resources from military, civilian and commercial satellites be combined to provide 'persistence in total situational awareness, for the benefit of this nation's war fighters.' If allies don't like the new paradigm of space dominance, said Air Force secretary James Roche, they'll just have to learn to accept it. The allies, he told the symposium, will have 'no veto power.' Suckers!
posted by magullo on May 30, 2003 - 80 comments

Space dots. Pretty.

Copernica Martin Wattenberg, in collaboration with NASA and Rhizome.org, developed a gorgeous applet to showcase NASA's commissioned art program. Participating artists include William Wegman, Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Rauschenburg, among others. Pieces can be viewed by subject, title, or create your own gallery. Beautiful.
posted by ariana on May 28, 2003 - 9 comments

Sounds from the First Satellites

Screw Major Tom! "Oscar 1 was battery powered. Its signals lasted for about two weeks. The batteries were not rechargeable". Awww..... Here are the actual sounds of the first satellites. In fact, I may just become a MeFi musician just to sample them. So there.
posted by Carlos Quevedo on May 20, 2003 - 8 comments

Deep impact

Deep impact. NASA scientists want to know what the pristine inside of a comet looks like. What better way, then, than by blowing a 25-meter crater in one? Comet Tempel 1, to be specific. Even better, send them your name and they'll put it on a disc attached to the impactor spacecraft, which will be launched on December 30, 2004. It'll hit on the 4th of July, 2005.
posted by gottabefunky on May 13, 2003 - 9 comments

retro-future

Designing a Space Colony? Start Here. Some light Reading. Be sure to check out the artwork (more space art by Don Davis).
posted by wobh on May 3, 2003 - 4 comments

Really High Tea

I drink my tea with chopsticks. At least, I would if I lived in outer space. Cool movie (achtung: Quicktime) from the international space station showing the effects of surface tension in the absence of gravity. I wonder if any of us will ever live long enough to experience this in person?
posted by jonson on Apr 9, 2003 - 13 comments

Orbiter

Orbiter - A Free Space Flight Simulator Starving for a high realism space simulator ever since Microsoft's Space Simulator was discontinued? Look no further than Orbiter, a free realistic space simulator written and maintained by Dr. Martin Schweiger. How realistic? You might want to start off by consulting NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Basics Of Space Flight to get you grounded so to speak. This is a free, non-commercial simulator that uses accurate math and orbital physics (more or less) to try to model space flight. However hard it may appear, after orbiting Earth with the high-res (8192x4096) mod-pack installed, or sitting on the launch pad with the seamless OrbiterSound 2.1b sound environment installed, you will be well rewarded for reading the manual and participating in the dance of the heavens. (Even if all you want to do is fly around the solar system!)
posted by Tystnaden on Mar 22, 2003 - 10 comments

Massive explosion rocks NASA

Massive explosion rocks NASA And Pasadena, and a few other places, too. It's not every day you get to watch a black hole form. Includes cool animation (.mov file). Seems the gamma ray burst detector picks up two or three significant events every month or so.
posted by kewms on Mar 20, 2003 - 13 comments

Apollo Lunar Surface Journal

The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal. Journals, records and some images from the Apollo lunar missions.
posted by plep on Mar 10, 2003 - 13 comments

Pioneer 10 finally gives it up for good.

Pioneer 10 space probe finally packs it in for good. So long, little fella...
posted by 40 Watt on Feb 25, 2003 - 27 comments

Did downsizing and inexperience lead to Columbia's destruction?

Did downsizing and inexperience lead to Columbia's destruction? In the rush to cut costs and 'downsize' NASA in the 1990s the agency outsourced most Space Transportation System (STS, or the Shuttle) functions to a private consortium called United Space Alliance. Now, senior engineers at Boeing (lead member of the USA) are beginning to talk about the lack of experience, 'brain drain', and negative effects of downsizing and privatization. This begs the issue of market imperatives, relative value of privatization and the question of how to better manage projects of this magnitude in a mixed private/public arrangement.
posted by tgrundke on Feb 23, 2003 - 3 comments

"I imagine this is the last we will hear of this."

"I imagine this is the last we will hear of this." Or not. NASA releases email between NASA engineers leading up to the Columbia disaster documenting significant concerns regarding damage done to the shuttle on takeoff. Engineers calculated the likelihood of a 7" x 30" gouge in the heat shields, but when they let management know of their concerns, they weren't taken seriously, were forced to work "at night" to do simulations, and found that requests for additional information were "treated like the plague."
posted by insomnia_lj on Feb 22, 2003 - 33 comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Blackbird

The Blackbird. I saw a documentary about the SR-71 Blackbird last night and I must admit I am fascinated by it. Not only is it sleek, beautiful and futuristic it's also fast as hell. Given its space-age appearance it is amazing to think that it first flew in 1964 and still nothing comes near in performance terms (that we know about!). Withdrawn from service in 1990 due to the expense of running it, it was used by Nasa for testing until recently. Nowadays your only chance of seeing one is in a museum, and if you're outside the US, the only place to go is the excellent Air Museum at RAF Duxford.
posted by jontyjago on Feb 14, 2003 - 35 comments

The oldest light in the cosmos

BAM! The Microwave Anisotropy Probe's long-awaited map of the afterglow of the big bang was released today, and all of a sudden, most of the uncertainty in the concordance model of cosmology has disappeared. We now know, to within 1%, that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. We now know that Hubble constant is 71, plus or minus 4. And though the results agreed stunningly well with the weird picture that cosmologists have about the nature of the cosmos, there was one surprise -- the first stars were born way before expected. Great day for science, and a likely future Nobel.
posted by ptermit on Feb 11, 2003 - 25 comments

Shuttle Achille's Hell ?

Shuttle "Achille's Hell" According to this article, Shuttle has one. Curiously it's in the area in which that piece of insulation hit during launch.Were the astronauts warned ? Did they do some space walk to see what was wrong ? I would stop my car to go out and see if I heard a loud "thump" coming from somewhere.
posted by elpapacito on Feb 3, 2003 - 38 comments

Challenger Nuclear Prometheus rockets

Perhaps after the Challenger tragedy Nasa will rethink Project Prometheus.
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 3, 2003 - 23 comments

5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia

5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia "There is something noteworthy a rocket can do that the shuttle cannot. A rocket can be permitted to fail." Gregg Easterbrook's 1980 Washington Monthly cover story looks into the Columbia's beginnings, the hazards he saw in the shuttle, and its weaknesses compared to rockets.
Once you get into space, you check to see if any tiles are damaged. If enough are, you have a choice between Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is hope they can get a rescue shuttle up in time. Plan B is burn up coming back.
[via Slate]
posted by kirkaracha on Feb 2, 2003 - 32 comments

Houston we have a problem!

Houston we have a problem! At 9:00am EST communication was lost with space shuttle Columbia. The touch down should have been occurred at 9:16am.
posted by MzB on Feb 1, 2003 - 450 comments

Challenger Explodes

17 years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded, killing all seven aboard. I share this primarily as I recall this being the first where-were-you-when of my childhood. So where were you?
posted by xmutex on Jan 28, 2003 - 161 comments

Is there Life on Mars?

Is there Life on Mars? As NASA announce a nuclear-powered Mars and beyond project, British scientists are looking forward to the launch of the Beagle 2 which will search for signs of life on the Red Planet. Is this the return of the Space Race in a new form? And will they find any sign of life?
posted by anyanka on Jan 22, 2003 - 3 comments

View the Earth from a different perspective

Shuttle Views the Earth: Geology from Space. Also see the Human Imprints set. [via milov]
posted by riffola on Nov 27, 2002 - 5 comments

Leonid Meteor Storm 2002

They're back--and promise to as brighter or brighter than last year:
NASA scientists' predictions for the 2002 Leonid meteor storm.

Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the Moon will be full when the storm begins on Nov. 19th. Glaring moonlight will completely overwhelm many faint shooting stars. Indeed, I often hear that the Moon is going to "ruin the show."


We shall see.
posted by y2karl on Nov 16, 2002 - 22 comments

Coolest sun picture ever

Coolest sun picture ever - sunspot closeup... The Swedish Institute for Solar Physics web site has some other cool pictures. (As an aside, I wonder what equivalent shutter speed, aperture, and focal length would be?)
posted by notsnot on Nov 15, 2002 - 15 comments

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy

NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy After decades of almost ignoring claims that the Apollo missions were hoaxed, NASA commissioned aerospace writer James Olberg to write an official rebuttle. Perhaps a bit more reasonable than the NASA Stooge, the book is aimed at the general public.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 7, 2002 - 33 comments

Sea And Sky:

Sea And Sky:
Sea news, sky news, great photos, NASA Mission Insignia Patches (including Skylab), info about deep sea creatures, exploration timelines, and tonnes more.
posted by Fabulon7 on Nov 5, 2002 - 5 comments

Swan song for a great explorer.

Swan song for a great explorer. Tomorow, the Galileo explorer will make a flyby of Jovian moon Amalthea ending pehaps the geatest unmanned mission in NASA history. Galileo telemetry may not survive the flyby having already receieved much more radiation than it was designed for. Even if it does survive, this will be its final orbit scheduled to crash into Jupiter in September of next year. In spite of antenna difficulties, the spacecraft returned many beautiful images of Jupiter's moons, along with coverage of the Shoemaker-Levy collision and the first atmospheric probe to decend into Jupiter's weather.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Nov 3, 2002 - 9 comments

Liftoff with the Space Shuttle.

Liftoff with the Space Shuttle. NASA attached a small RocketCam to the side of the External Tank on the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis earlier this month. You can also download the full video.
posted by Mwongozi on Oct 23, 2002 - 3 comments

Le Voyage dans la Lune/A Trip to the Moon

Le Voyage dans la Lune/A Trip to the Moon A tree grows in Houston. Apparently a cache of tree seeds were carried into space by an American astronaut in the early 1970s. They were carried home, planted, grown into seedlings, and distributed around the country, mostly in honor of the 1976 bicentennial. Anyway, no one took note of where the moon trees went. A curious NASA scientist is on the hunt for the locations of the moon trees. Do you have a moon tree in your town? Do you have a documented historic tree in your area? Are your local trees protected? Does this make local residents irate?
posted by jengod on Oct 22, 2002 - 13 comments

Maybe they should have let Lance Bass on this one.

Maybe they should have let Lance Bass on this one. A Soyuz rocket explodes 29 seconds after takeoff, killing one and injuring eight from the blast. Although it was not carrying any material destined for the International Space Station, launch delays caused by the investigation into the explosion might hurt the IIS project in the long run.
posted by LuxFX on Oct 16, 2002 - 18 comments

World on Fire

World on Fire is brought to us by the fun kids at NASA, showing satellite images of active fires around the planet on July 11, 2002. "Across the world, the widespread fires that burn each year in the savannas of Africa, Australia, and Brazil dwarf even the most significant fire season in the western United States as far as total acreage and number of fires." NOVA Online has its own set of images from 2000 as well.
posted by keli on Sep 3, 2002 - 6 comments

The Mars Exploration Program Landing Sites

The Mars Exploration Program Landing Sites has kept me enthralled for most of the day. Explore the surface with a beautiful scalable map or argue over a landing site. Personally, I'm leaving a geocache here. (Warning: circa 1994 web design combined with possible browser crashing applets)
posted by Stan Chin on Aug 23, 2002 - 2 comments

Nasa plans to read the minds of terrorists...

Nasa plans to read the minds of terrorists... NASA wants to use "noninvasive neuro-electric sensors," imbedded in gates, to collect tiny electric signals that all brains and hearts transmit. Computers would apply statistical algorithms to correlate physiologic patterns with computerized data on travel routines, criminal background and credit information from "hundreds to thousands of data sources," NASA documents say
posted by Espoo2 on Aug 20, 2002 - 12 comments

From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne: A capital idea. Why did we not fasten a thread to our projectile, and we could have exchanged telegrams with the earth?. Bad idea, said Jules. Great idea, says NASA.
posted by thijsk on Aug 12, 2002 - 27 comments

NASA finds gravitational 'space freeway' that runs through solar system

NASA finds gravitational 'space freeway' that runs through solar system... Vorgon jokes aside, this could seriously reduce the amount of energy it takes to move around the solar system. [this is good]
posted by SpecialK on Jul 19, 2002 - 23 comments

the names all sound like superheroes

the names all sound like superheroes skystreak. thunderchief. super sabre. firebee. darkstar. and they fly, some of them faster than the speed of sound, but these "vigilantes" weren't born on the four-color pages of a marvel comic book.

they are nasa research vehicles and this way cool photo gallery stretches back to the days of chuck yeager and the x-1 transonic rocket plane. just a little bit of the right stuff for your thursday morning.
posted by grabbingsand on Jul 11, 2002 - 8 comments

The engine canna take any more, captain!

The engine canna take any more, captain! So, we're going to ground the fleet. I guess our friends in the space station are just going to have to wait until NASA is done checking under the hood.
posted by dwivian on Jun 25, 2002 - 6 comments

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